Taking beer on a plane as a checked bag

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by KingHenry, May 22, 2012.

  1. teraflx

    teraflx Zealot (551) Feb 4, 2013 Arizona

    and ALWAYS pack a little extra in your belly before take off!
  2. tommyguz

    tommyguz Meyvn (1,009) May 14, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Did the same thing. Both of my suitcases were 49 lbs and my friend checked one that was like 37 (with what I couldn't fit in mine). Just bubble wrap, clothing, garbage bags. I did have a 6 bottle shipper that fit in a large suitcase (stackable 3 on bottom, 3 on top) All came back safe and sound.

    On a side note, I did take 4 small sample bottles of liquor through security with me (2 Beam's, a vodka and a gin) Just put them in my plastic baggie with my shampoo and small liquids.
  3. Skunkdrool

    Skunkdrool Devotee (444) Jul 31, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    When I travel I bring a hard shell case with only packing materials. I can stack 4 FedEx 14X10 boxes perfectly in the case, with a touch of filler on the sides to make it snug. Typically I can plan on getting 12-15 bombers back home safely.
    Empty hard shell case, bubble wrap, boxes, tape, ziplocks.
  4. bram325

    bram325 Initiate (0) Oct 23, 2013 Texas
    Beer Trader

  5. lowbit

    lowbit Initiate (0) Jul 24, 2013 Wisconsin

    I used to use those WineSkins, but the problem is they're not resealable, so you either throw them away after one use, or run the risk of things leaking all over your clothes if you use them again (which happened to me).

    I switched to these bags last year, which are both resealable and are lined with absorbent material to provide a second layer of protection in case of leaks.
  6. cincysig

    cincysig Aspirant (288) Sep 15, 2010 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    I've used WineSkins over and over again. Cut the bottom and retape. I've used those a ton and really like them!
  7. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,221) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I always keep 10-15 ziplock freezer bags in my luggage just in case I find bottles to bring home. I just put each bottle in a bag (to protect my clothes just in case) and try to pad things up as much as I can. Men's shoes are great for holding 12oz bottles.
    I've probably flown with 100 or more bottles over the years, typically 7-8 at a time, with no issues to date.
    The bigger issue is staying under the 50-55lb. limit and not having to dump bottles or clothes at the last minute. I've got it down to a science after having to leave a Brooklyn BCS and a Weyerbacher Heresy in the Tampa airport restroom.
  8. El_Jefe

    El_Jefe Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2012 Georgia
    Beer Trader

    I will be out there Feb as well...been out there the same time the last four years. I'm platinum on Delta so me and my gf check two empty styro wine boxes each on the way out there (free). We load them up and also cram extras in our luggage (wrap in between clothes...just be smart about it). Doing this we usually get about 75 bottles home to GA and so far, no breakage/leakage.

    Good luck.
  9. lowbit

    lowbit Initiate (0) Jul 24, 2013 Wisconsin

    That was exactly what I was doing when I had a bottle leak all over the contents of my suitcase. (Red wine, unfortunately, though a high gravity coffee stout would probably have ruined just as many items. :stuck_out_tongue:) Unless you use half a roll of tape, it just isn't as secure as a sealed bag.
  10. BubalooBrewMaster

    BubalooBrewMaster Devotee (427) Feb 24, 2013 Nevada
    Beer Trader

    Trying to find Mexican crafts is like looking for a needle in a haystack..trust me I've tried :rage:
    Mnmaverick likes this.
  11. kdb150

    kdb150 Devotee (464) Mar 8, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Don't ovethink it. If you can pad the bottles a bit and immobilize the contents of the case, you should be fine. I have some foam sleeves that fit around bottles and are nice and light, and work nice in conjunction with clothing in protecting bottles. I've also used just my clothes for bringing beer back, and both work just fine.

    Just remember - pad and immobilize.
  12. kaseydad

    kaseydad Savant (934) Nov 23, 2008 California
    Beer Trader

    Brought a four pack of ten fidy individually double wrapped in baggies and a bomber in a double wrapped storage sized baggie to Vegas with no problem yesterday Agreed on the place it between clothes to impact any rough handling. Have done the same thing to San Diego, Texas and Florida with no issues. And Florida was even a transfer.
  13. azorie

    azorie Initiate (0) Mar 18, 2006 Florida

    9/11 is all I will say. ruined allot of things. like bringing wine back as a carry on.

    you can pack and check anything even guns, lol
  14. zero_signal

    zero_signal Initiate (0) Aug 8, 2013 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    UPS pad pak envelopes work awesome for wrapping fragile items. They have bubble wrap interior and a plastic exterior with a glue seal edge.double up on those and you can drop bottles on a floor and they will bounce..Very handy...best part is they are free if you have a UPS acct. if not you can prob swipe from a UPS store.
  15. IAmJacksHopTongue

    IAmJacksHopTongue Initiate (192) Jan 19, 2013 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Depends on the airline. Flying Southwest (free checked bags) or already planning to pay for a checked bag; then it is cheaper to bring in your bags. But paying $45+ to check a bag just for beer is probably more expensive than shipping unless you would also have to pay for packaging materials in California.

    Can't remember the last time I flew anywhere and didn't bring beer home. I've used the inserts from Spirited Shippers (cardboard folding boxes with selective tabs for different bottle sizes) that online wine/beer sellers often use for shipping. I also end up wrapping a few bottles in whatever clothes are also in the bag.

    I tend not to worry about leakage. Somebody said it already: be sure the bottles are padded and immovable within the bag and you really don't have much to worry about. I would guess that 99% of broken bottles via airlines or shipping happen because two bottles are touching; if you avoid that, you're golden.
  16. alexanf

    alexanf Initiate (0) Jun 22, 2012 Mississippi

    I'm from MI and now live in CO. With Founders and Shorts being in MI, I do this every time I fly. Never in large amounts though. Just make sure they are bubble wrapped and placed in a ziplock. You should be OK.
  17. aschwab

    aschwab Zealot (577) Mar 3, 2009 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Unless you are in Mexico City. there are some good beer bars there.
  18. aschwab

    aschwab Zealot (577) Mar 3, 2009 Texas
    Beer Trader

    I am flying to Portland this weekend with beer. Taking 2 - 12 bomber styro shippers filled with Jester King and some randoms for bottle trades.

    I get 2 free checked bags since my wife is coming and flying AA (I get one free bag per person).

    On the way back, both styro shippers will be full of beer, along with both our suitcases (with 12 bombers a piece).

    Also, rumor has it that there is a bottle shop in the PDX airport. I think I can probably squeeze another 15 into my wifes/my carry ons (I plan for it to be empty). I am aiming for a solid 63 beers back to TX. I believe I win.
    nophunk and Knee_Deep_Fan like this.
  19. shnsajax

    shnsajax Disciple (360) Jul 2, 2013 Idaho
    Beer Trader

    You might smell a little funky due to the lack of clothes, but yes you do win.
  20. aschwab

    aschwab Zealot (577) Mar 3, 2009 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Only a 3 day trip. I am ok with the consequences. My wife may disagree, but she knows what is about to happen and knows she has no say in this matter (I will pay for the consequences later).
    ncstateplaya likes this.
  21. Kyle2k10

    Kyle2k10 Initiate (78) Jul 14, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    I was just at PDX Airport. There are a few places to get bottles to take on the plane. Also, there's a restaurant that does growler fills, Gustav's I think. Also the Laurelwood Restaurant has bottles and growler fills.
  22. drew7777

    drew7777 Aspirant (271) May 10, 2009 Virginia
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I've got status with Delta and can check, I think, 3 free bags. Do 12 bottle shipper boxes count as a "bag" or do boxes have extra fees associated with them? Thinking this may be easier if I planned ahead for it, rather than crossing my fingers that bottles survive inside luggage.
  23. kscaldef

    kscaldef Initiate (0) Jun 11, 2010 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    Always just been normal "bags" when I've taken them.
  24. lowbit

    lowbit Initiate (0) Jul 24, 2013 Wisconsin

    You can check bottle shippers, but they have to be well protected. It's marketed at the wine crowd, but this bottle carrier is specifically intended for checking beer/wine when flying (also available in red for a few bucks less). The best thing about it is they paid attention to the weight restrictions and used lightweight materials, so you don't get dinged for exceeding the 50lb limit when checking it with a full 12 bottles.
  25. kscaldef

    kscaldef Initiate (0) Jun 11, 2010 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    The Winecheck (note: considerably cheaper direct from their website: http://www.thewinecheck.com/) is a nice upgrade, but at the same time I've never had an airline complain about me just checking a styro-shipper in the cardboard box alone.
  26. Maximus_Prime

    Maximus_Prime Initiate (63) Sep 12, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Im heading to the Netherlands and Belgium early April and plan on bringing as much beer humanly possible back with me. My plan is to use atleast a 12 btl. Styrofoam shipper sealed and check it as a 2nd bag onto my flight. I thought about squeezing it into a second luggage bag but figured I would have better luck with a "fragile" sticker so the shifters and shapeshaggers dont toss it around as much as they do with regular luggage on a daily basis. Also curious if I bother to claim it as alcohol and what rules and taxes apply to the importing of a s**t ton of beer. Any thoughts or suggestions from those BA's who have made a haul would be greatly appreciated.

  27. Roguer

    Roguer Poo-Bah (2,657) Mar 25, 2013 Georgia
    Beer Trader

    I was going to check some beer on my recent trip to see the family, but I realized it would have been cheaper to just ship it. Unless you're getting a bag checked free, or were going to check one, anyway; I traveled with a backpack, and Delta charges $25 for a checked bag. Screw that.
  28. chcfan

    chcfan Devotee (466) Oct 29, 2008 California

    What's the deal with that, can you pop that growler on your plane? You don't have to go to your gate and check it, right?
  29. Kyle2k10

    Kyle2k10 Initiate (78) Jul 14, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    No, the steward(ess) will confiscate it, but only if you get caught. I guess you could stealthily open a bomber of something, probably easier than a growler. You are past security, so just like anything else, you can carry it on the plane.
  30. chcfan

    chcfan Devotee (466) Oct 29, 2008 California

    Thanks for the info...I was wondering how that was dealt with. So lame you can't just drink it, but I'm not surprised that the airlines have that policy. God forbid they give up a way to squeeze more out of you.
  31. danial

    danial Initiate (0) May 19, 2010 California

    And there is a Laurelwood pub located in the airport where you can pick up growlers to take as your carry on, or throw into your carry on..
  32. Jmitchell3

    Jmitchell3 Initiate (0) Apr 2, 2013 Arizona

    I've hauled beer in checked baggage both domestically and internationally. No issues.
  33. aschwab

    aschwab Zealot (577) Mar 3, 2009 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Well, the bottle shop in the airport worked great. I checked my 2 12 bottle shippers, and a bag full of beer. I then had an extra carry on that I bought about 7 bombers from the store at. Everything was going great until my flight was canceled. And I was rebooked the next day. Which meant I had nowhere to put said bombers. So, I had to find another bag and check it. And, I would have had bought more beer the second go around, but they flew me through LAX and had me changing terminals which meant I had to go through security at LAX again (great design LAX...really...I applaud you for your crappy ways). Oh well. All the beer made it. All 50 bombers.
    Curb71 and shnsajax like this.
  34. aschwab

    aschwab Zealot (577) Mar 3, 2009 Texas
    Beer Trader

    It has nothing to do with squeezing money out of you. That policy has been around long before they charged you for alcohol on planes. They want to be able to control how much people drink on a plane - no one wants to be around someone with a bottle of vodka getting trashed and obnoxious. Trust me. I have had it happen.
    sneezye likes this.
  35. Zorro

    Zorro Poo-Bah (4,235) Dec 25, 2003 California

    If you just want to bring back a few, pack them in your dirty laundry and wrap in plastic bags.

    If anything leaks it gets absorbed by clothes you were going to wash anyway.

    Another hint, old Cotton tub socks work well to protect bottles of beer.
    JISurfer likes this.
  36. BobsLiquors

    BobsLiquors Initiate (166) Oct 17, 2013 Washington
    Beer Trader

    I didn't read through all five pages, so sorry if somebody has answered this... But if it's above 24%(I believe), you can bring a total of 3 liters. That depends on where you're going, but I think that's correct for domestic flights. Under that, pack as much beer as you want. But am I the only one who's had something swiped? A friend tried to bring me a 4 pack of BCBS, which was tough to get in WA. It never made it...
  37. ASak10

    ASak10 Initiate (0) Jan 2, 2014 Colorado

    Yeah, that's what it was...uhhh, TSA stole it! I swear, I didn't drink a drop, I really tried to get you some, but that damn TSA...
  38. chcfan

    chcfan Devotee (466) Oct 29, 2008 California

    The airlines aren't the boss of me!
  39. barrybeerdog

    barrybeerdog Initiate (170) Aug 17, 2012 Minnesota

    In December, I brought a checked bag home from Amsterdam full of beer & had no issues. I took a hard side case (Pelican brand boxes are the best, expensive, but well worth the money!!). I packed a roll of duct tape and as much bubble wrap as I could squeeze into the case. I wrapped all of the bottles individually in the bubble wrap and filled the rolling case, (pack it tight, so no room for bottles to roll around).

    I flew Delta into Mpls w/ 54 lbs. of De Molen & various other Dutch & Belgium beers w/ no problems at all. Very easy to do. Good luck, cheers!
  40. pmoney

    pmoney Crusader (709) Apr 15, 2011 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I'm sure it has been mentioned somewhere in the 5 pages of this thread, but is it acceptable to check a 12-bottle shipper of beer on a flight? I would be carrying-on my suitcase and checking the box of beer.
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